Summer has arrived! Schools out, the weather is great, and it is time to explore the Mississippi Gulf Coast in search for family fun in the sun. From relaxing on the beach, to getting exercise while doing activities, there’s an abundance of cool things to do on the Coast with the family this time of year.
Looking for something for the family that costs just a little, but offers a whole lot of fun and is educational at the same time? The Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area participates in the Passport to Your National Parks© program, which is the perfect way to learn about our beautiful Gulf Coast and collect memories that will last a lifetime. Passport books can be purchased online or in national park bookstores across the United States. With your passport in hand, start collecting cancellation stamps that can be acquired at no cost at visitor centers, tourist attractions, and park ranger stations. Within the Mississippi Gulf Coast NHA, there are 35 cancellation stations including popular stops such as Beauvoir, the Biloxi Lighthouse, the INFINITY Science Center, and the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum. The stamps, which are similar to passport stamps in a traveler's passport, serve as a record of your visits, and can be collected and cherished for years to come.
Margaritaville Resort Biloxi is family friendly resort & water park featuring an indoor 55,000 square foot entertainment center called Escape, where you will find hundreds of the latest arcade games. Guests can also climb on a three-story volcano rock wall, traverse on rope courses, play a round of virtual golf, or bowl a game on one of their six lanes of boutique bowling. The water park features a 450-foot lazy river, lounge pool, slides that twist and turn, gigantic flip-flops you can hop across, a water ropes course, and a bar.
A great way to get exercise while having fun is by ziplining and traversing tree obstacle courses. Elevate Red Creek in Perkinston offers incredible views from high above the ground, where both children and adults can safely climb & cross tight ropes, wobbly bridges, nets, zip lines, and more.
There are many other ways to get up close and personal with Mother Nature on the Gulf Coast. Eco-Tours of South Mississippi offers boat and kayak tours of The Pascagoula River, the longest unimpeded river in the lower 48 states. Flowing 80 miles from its confluence to the Gulf of Mexico, you most likely will see alligators, pelicans, osprey, herons, egrets, and even bald eagles. The tours are excellent for bird watchers, plant lovers, photographers, and anyone just wanting a relaxing journey down the river. With two, four, and full-day tours available, you will be introduced to the natural habitats of the cypress swamps and salt marshes of the lower Pascagoula River, or the coastal barrier islands.
While in Gautier, also be sure to plan a visit to the 19,000 acre Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge. Home of the endangered Mississippi sandhill crane, its wet pine savanna habitat, rare plants, and grassland birds. There is a Visitor Center with interactive exhibits, and Ranger guided crane tours, wildflower walks, and other programs are offered throughout the year. You can’t be assured of seeing a crane on your visit due to there being so few left in the wild, but you can learn about them and their unique habitat, as well as learn the best places to go to increase your chances of spotting one of the elusive birds.
If you need to get out of the sun, the smoke-free Spanish Trail Lanes Bowling Center offers fun for the whole family. With 24 lanes of bowling, a full service snack bar, arcade, pro shop, and a restaurant/bar, it is the perfect way to spend time with the family out of the sun. Great for Birthday parties, they also have Glow Bowling on Friday and Saturday nights.
After a day playing, how about sitting back and watching an exciting game of minor league baseball or an exhilarating drag race? The Biloxi Shuckers, a Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, plays their games at MGM Park, and Gulfport Dragway has been host to amateur and professional racers from around the country since the early '70s. Both offer entertainment and concessions that will help create memories to last a lifetime.
As you can see, the Mississippi Gulf Coast can provide summer family fun for virtually all ages. What are you waiting for? Start planning your visit to these wonderful attractions today!
105 Caillavet Street
Biloxi, MS 39350
Eco-Tours of South Mississippi
Gautier, MS 39553
Elevate Red Creek
5106-A Vestry Road
Perkinston, MS 39573
17085 Race Track Road
Gulfport, MS 39503
Margaritaville Resort Biloxi
195 Beach Blvd.
Biloxi, MS 39530
Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area
For a detailed list of the Passport to Your National Parks© program stops visit: www.msgulfcoastheritage.ms.gov
To purchase a passport visit: http://passport.eparks.com/store
Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge
7200 Crane Lane
Gautier, MS 39553
Spanish Trail Lanes Bowling Center
2909 Old Spanish Trail
Gautier, MS 39553